Why Some Grips Will Not Fit Yugo or Zastava AK Rifles

I am often asked if some model of grip will fit a Yugo surplus or current day commercial Zastava rifle and the answer is a bit of an “it depends”.  Let me tell you why.

When Zastava was still located in the former country of Yugoslavia, they did a number of modifications to the base Soviet AK-47 design.  Relevant to this post whas their decision to use a retained grip nut that is riveted to the receiver.  This is different from AKMs that have a removable forged grip nut that drops down through a square hole between the trigger guard and the rear end of the receiver.

All AK-based rifle designs that I know of have this grip nut “strap” that is riveted in place.  Note how the trigger guard rides higher than a normal AKs and a longer rivet is used to pass through the trigger guard, strap and the receiver itself.

When it comes to grips, that strap and its rivets are the problems.  If you have a grip with very limited space in the top, it will not fit – at least not without modification.  The AK-12 grip has a tight backstrap that goes along the bottom of the receiver and I don’t think it could even be made to fit.

Notice the extra rivets sticking up behind the round grip screw hole.
This is our version of a Russian AK-12 grip.  It’s very comfortable and a grip I like a great deal.
The middle of the top and some of the back aren’t going to clear the grip nut strap and rivets.  I could carve/Dremel the middle out but there is very little material to work with in the back.  Might it work?  Maybe but I didn’t have time to give it serious try.

If you look at the top of a traditional Zastava black polymer grip, you’ll notice the top is wide open.  It has plenty of room to accomodate the grip strap.  So, a grip like a Russian Molot will work as well.

The Molot’s top is wide open.
Due to the wide open top, a Molot grip can readily go on a Zastava.


Grips with shallow tight tops will not fit on a Zastava rifle, unless modificatios are made.  Examples of grips like this are Hungarian AMDs, IMI Galils, Polish Beryl eronomically styled grips, and Russian AK-12s.

What will fit are grips with big top mouths such as many traditional AKMs (Romanian and Egyptian), plus newer grips like the Bulgarian ARMs, and Russian Molots.

I hope this helps.

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